Keywords: development projects, local understanding, models of nature, nature conservation, negotiation, Peruvian Amazon, sustainable development, sustainability, Peru, politics, knowledge sharing
The models of nature and the politics of sustainable development in the Peruvian Amazon
Mental models of nature provide orientation both for the executors of development projects as well as for the local participants. The dominating models are ones that draw a sharp line between nature and culture. We examine the foundations of these models, and propose that when encountering different kinds of models, precautions must be taken in order to enable negotiated sustainable development projects. We draw on our fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon in order to illustrate the difference between distinct models of nature. We propose that sustainable development practices require negotiation processes, where different models of nature are fused into shared knowledge.